Bend residents want to see more police engagement and visibility in the community but hope the agency addresses mental health and homeless issues through community partnerships, according to a report presented to city councilors Wednesday night.
The summary report from the city’s “Community Input on Policing Policies” project that started in September, revealed several themes:
- A need to address mental health and homelessness through partnerships, and awareness that these are not criminal issues;
- A desire for more Police engagement and visibility in the community
- Interest in more training for Police related to de-escalation and diversity, as well as investing in tools that would help with transparency and accountability, such as body cameras and informational reports
- Interest in further information about the purpose/role and development of the Chief’s Advisory Council.
The report compiled public opinion gathered through online written comments, a virtual listening session and feedback from Bend Police Department employees.
Last summer, the City Council updated one of its goals to, “Be responsive and accountable to the changing needs and expectations of the community and increase Council awareness and public participation in law enforcement policy.”
The City and its Police Department are conducting a variety efforts to gather feedback from the community to asses programs and guide priorities. Other current efforts include:
- A Police Department survey that was recently mailed to thousands of households in Bend, and
- A community survey on a number of City services and programs, which is available online www.bendcommunitysurvey.com and will complement a recently-completed phone survey about Citywide priorities.
You can read the full report below: